Columbus Shooting Sparks Protests Despite Videotape Showing Knife Attack

The shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, in Columbus, Ohio has sparked protests despite the police releasing a videotape that appeared to show Bryant moving to stab another girl.  The incident has strikingly similar legal issues to the shooting of Adam Toledo in Chicago.  The parents of Bryant insist that she dropped the knife just before being shot, the same situation raised in the Toledo shooting.  The videotape does appear to satisfy the standard for the use of lethal force under Tennessee v. Garner and other case law.

Police told local media that, at  4:32 p.m., officers were dispatched to the address after a caller reported that a female was trying to stab other individuals.  The videotape shows Bryant moving toward the other female with the knife before being shot by the officer.

Various media outlets like NPR posted misleading accounts of the shooting, which fueled anger in the city.  NPR later corrected its original account:


The Daily Beast was criticized for its coverage, including a quote from “local Columbus activist K.C. Taynor of Exodus Nation” that “the latest police killing made it impossible to celebrate the Chauvin verdict. It’s another murder. They’re animals. They treat us like animals.”

Here is video with the The body cam footage around 6:35.


The knife if shown laying next to Bryant.

The site Heavy reports that Franklin County Children Services confirmed that Bryant was a foster child. Her aunt, Hazel Bryant, told The Dispatch that her niece “got into an altercation with someone else at the home” but that Bryant dropped her knife before being shot by a Columbus police officer.

On its face, the videotape would offer strong support for a justified shooting claim.

The Columbus Police manual states “Sworn personnel may use deadly force when the involved personnel have reason to believe the response is objectively reasonable to protect themselves or others from the imminent threat of death or serious physical harm.” That language is derived from Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985), when the court addressed the Fourth Amendment protections afforded a fleeing suspect and held that an officer may not use deadly force to prevent escape unless “the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.”

Tennessee v. Garner addressed a fleeing unarmed suspects and found the state statute too broad:

The use of deadly force to prevent the escape of all felony suspects, whatever the circumstances, is constitutionally unreasonable. It is not better that all felony suspects die than that they escape. Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so. It is no doubt unfortunate when a suspect who is in sight escapes, but the fact that the police arrive a little late or are a little slower afoot does not always justify killing the suspect. A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead. The Tennessee statute is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes the use of deadly force against such fleeing suspects.

In Graham v. Connor, the court held that the question of whether an officer used excessive force “requires careful attention to the facts and circumstances of each particular case, including the severity of the crime at issue, whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and whether he is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.” However, the Court ruled unanimously that the “reasonableness of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, and its calculus must embody an allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions about the amount of force necessary in a particular situation.” (The ABA discussed these and other cases in a recent posting).

In this case, Bryant was in close proximity and moving toward the other person with the knife. This was a direct threat of lethal force made against another person and the officer can claim that there was little time or space for “de-escalation” efforts.  The shooting is likely to be found to be justified under the governing standards for the use of lethal force.



284 thoughts on “Columbus Shooting Sparks Protests Despite Videotape Showing Knife Attack”

  1. In competitive target shooting you have plenty of time to get the shot off. You make sure your grip is correct. You level the front sight in the rear sight. You then take a breath and let half of it out before you slowly squeeze the trigger. Even the best shooters in the world repeat this process. If you have ever fired a weapon in rapid succession you know how inaccurate you become. What you realize is that to have any success at hitting your target at all you must increase the rate of fire. Biden says to aim for the legs. In rapid fire there is no aiming but rather point and shoot. If the officer would have taken the time to check his grip, level the front sight, take a deep breath and let half of it out, and slowly squeezed the trigger he probably could have shot her in the leg just after the knife had penetrated deep into her victims body for the second time. Of course many posters on this forum and Joe Biden would like us to believe that they are weapons experts. More often they have an opinion on something they absolutely have no knowledge of. Or perhaps they are knowledgeable but they know what to say to keep their dumbed down suckers coming back for more.

  2. White people are simply not the problem. Not white policeman and not white conservatives anyway. White liberals, along with the race they pander to, are the real problem. Everyone knows this.

    1. Liberals, perhaps. It’s a divergent ideology, typically generational, sectarian, factional. White liberals… liberals of white? The principles of liberalism are not constrained by diversity dogma (e.g. racism) and classes (e.g. racist designation including people of brown). There are diverse historical and global precedents for individual predisposition, and even more individual exceptions.

  3. If your 13 year old is out stabbing people, carjacking uber drivers or running around with guns, please know…

    …you are a terrible parent.

    It’s you.
    It’s not the police.
    Its not the politicians.
    It’s not the teachers.
    It’s you.
    Just you.


  4. A far more efficient method of social and ethnic hygiene maintenance is needed than the occasional killing of black men by police.

    Recognition is needed that some humans are destined for the criminal underclass when they are born and that it is sensible to dispose of them without waiting for them to be shot by police at the age of 13, 16 or 49.

    It does not really matter whether the cause of crime is an inherent underclass tendency to it or the result of the respectable classes excluding them from lawful means of gaining an adequate income. The righteous classes will never tolerate resources being expended on the underclass in ways that will benefit them.
    Instead I recommend euthanising underclass babies as soon as they are born and sterilising underclass men and women of reproductive age.

    The root cause of the problem was that excess of woke political correctness and theft of white property, the abolition of slavery. Righteous people need to admit their hatred of minorities is every bit as strong as the Nazis’ hate of certain ethnic groups and political ideologies. Laws mandating the death penalty for spreading ideas of wokeness are also needed.

    1. Those are despicable comments.

      Why are you so bitter and hateful towards your fellow man?

        1. Javert thought he was realistic, too. He, too, had a mistaken idea about destiny and humanity.

      1. You should be addressing this question to the mainstream media, democrat politicians and Biden and his administration.

    2. Yes, woke and drowsy is a central attribute of people… persons prone to to indulge diversity [dogma] (i.e. color judgment), per chance rabid, not limited to racism a la Hutu vs Tutsi, National Socialists (e.g. Jew privilege, selective-Jew), etc., that denies individual dignity, individual conscience, intrinsic value, and normalizes color blocs (e.g. people of white), color quotas, and affirmative discrimination. !HateLovesAbortion

      That said, diversity of individuals, minority of one.

  5. If Valerie Jarrett and others on the Left believe blacks don’t need police to protect them from knife attacks, then they need to tell 911 dispatchers to ask whether the caller on the other end of the line is reporting an incident involving blacks. We wouldn’t want officers to mistake an “ordinary” neighborhood argument for an actual life and death attack.

  6. “It’s a no win tragedy anyway you look at it” – Frank Serpico, Ret. NYPD Detective, Medal of Honor winner

    “frank serpico

    I’m sure the officer who took a teens life doesn’t feel good or consider himself a hero

    It was his call

    No matter how well or badly he responded

    Both sides should refrain from their jaded, unprofessional comments & let this play out

    It’s a no win tragedy anyway you look at it

    5:31 PM · Apr 22, 2021·Twitter Web App”

    1. What do you mean “No matter how well or badly he responded”? Are you a liberal. He responded FANTASTICALLY, he took down a murderer and saved a life. Are you insane?

      1. Again:

        “Both sides should refrain from their jaded, unprofessional comments & let this play out”

        – Frank Serpico, Ret. NYPD Detective, Medal of Honor winner

        1. So Frank “medal of honor winning” Serpico (whoever the hell that is) can share his opinions, but others shouldn’t;t? lol. OK, got it.


          “Frank Serpico
          Retired Police Detective, Author, Lecturer : b. 1936

          A policeman’s first obligation is to be responsible to the needs of the community he serves…The problem is that the atmosphere does not yet exist in which an honest police officer can act without fear of ridicule or reprisal from fellow officers. We create an atmosphere in which the honest officer fears the dishonest officer, and not the other way around.

          1971: Became the first New York City policeman in history to testify about widespread corruption in the department.
          1972: Received the NYPD’s higest award, The Medal of Honor.

          After being shot and testifying about corruption in the NYPD, Serpico lived in Europe for nearly a decade. “

  7. In this situation a taser would have worked just fine. The officer was close enough to use one.

    1. “In this situation a taser would have worked just fine.” -Svelaz

      A couple of related articles:


      ‘Columbus policy allows officers to use deadly force, such as a gun, when faced with someone with a weapon or employing another form of deadly force. That could be someone aiming a gun at the officer or at a third person in a confrontation witnessed by the officer.

      “If there’s not deadly force being perpetrated on someone else at that time, an officer may have the opportunity to have cover, distance and time to use a Taser,” Woods said. “But if those things aren’t present, and there is an active assault going on in which someone could lose their life, the officer can use their firearm to protect that third person.”

      Officers are trained not to use “less deadly force” on individuals using deadly force themselves, said Andrew Scott, a former Boca Raton, Florida, police chief who now testifies as an expert witness in use-of-force cases.’

      ‘Asked about the policy on the use of Tasers versus handguns, Woods declined to comment on the specific incident but said: “If there’s not deadly force being perpetrated on someone else at that time, an officer may have the opportunity to have cover distance and time to use a Taser.”

      “But if those things are not present, and there’s an active assault going on in which someone could lose their life, the officer can use their firearm to protect that third person,” he added.

      Ginther said the Bureau of Criminal Investigation will look into actions of the officer.

      “I understand the outrage and the emotion about this incident,” Department of Public Safety Ned Pettus Jr. said at a news conference. “The video shows there is more to this. It requires us to pause.” ‘

      — ABC7, Chicago

    2. Too bad your mother didn’t abort you. You know, post-birth abortion is still an option…

    3. The threat to the girl’s life was immediate, not imminent. Preparing and deploying a taser would have given the assailant sufficient time to abort her target.

      1. Anonymous. If a cop was there and saw that the women was threatening the black teens with a deadly weapon (speeding automobile) he would have been justified in shooting her.

        1. This one threatened to kill a police officer:

          “US Capitol riot suspect Kyle Young assaulted multiple officers, threatening to kill one, prosecutors say”

          “In a pretrial hearing on Wednesday in Des Moines, a judge ordered that Young be held in custody while the case moves forward after prosecutors argued he presents a danger to the community.”


          In court Wednesday in Des Moines, Judge Celeste Bremer ordered that Young be held in custody while the case moves forward. Assistant U.S. Attorney Virginia Bruner argued Young presents a danger to the community, and said Fanone, when presented with a lineup of photos, identified Young as one of his assailants.

          “He said he was 100% sure the defendant was the one who had his hand on his gun and threatened to kill him with it,” Bruner said.

          Fanone, 40, was hospitalized after the attack with a suspected concussion and injuries from the stun gun he was hit with.

          –Des Moines Register

          1. One of diverse cases that proved to be fraudulent. There was only one elective abortion that day, of an unarmed woman, in a vulnerable position, while surrounded by security personnel. There were several assaults, of people assembled, after they were invited and summarily rejected. There was a progressive condition forced by a denial of congressional leaders to accept executive aid, and a peculiar intolerance of hundreds of thousands peaceful assembled, where in the past they accomodated diversitists, abortionists, fascists, occupiers, and sexists free reign.

        2. Anonymous I am glad you brought that up. Have you ever looked at how crazy and Stupid Anonymous the Stupid is? He proves your point. Watch that crazy Gerbil trying to get through the maze. It’s a panic. Most Gerbils are smarter.

  8. Killings of blacks by other blacks don’t make the headlines. Why don’t these Black Lives Matter? The reason is very easy to understand. There’s no money in it. The shills both black and white don’t give a damn about the George Floyds of the world until his memory lines their pockets. Like flies to a rotting carcass the all buzzed to Minneapolis. When will the Black community realize they are being played, without much care, like an old fiddle. One can only pray for a road to Damascus moment.

    1. Some, Select Black Lives Matter is a Pro-Choice sect incorporated in the diversity racket. Normal people do not exercise liberal license to indulge diversity dogma, let alone engage in commercial enterprises to force redistributive change.

      1. Squeeky,

        That was a Black lesbian….A hard core butch didn’t like her lover messing around town

  9. Cause & effect

    Ever since the Ohio cop body cam footage was released, sales increased for Chucky Doll’s affordable “Child’s Play Voodoo Knife”.

  10. There are many disturbing aspects to this story. It is, of course, tragic that a young woman lost her life. But it is also upsetting that so many media outlets rushed to report false and misleading accounts of the event–“unarmed 15-year-old girl,” “shot with no warning,” etc.–clearly contradicted by the evidence. Politicians from the White House on down made things worse by immediately framing this as yet another example of a person of color killed by our nation’s supposedly systemically racist police.

    From a broader perspective, I am far more angered by those on the left who say the police officer should not have intervened at all. Senior Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, for example, tweeted that the officer must be held accountable because he dared to shoot “to break up a knife fight.” After all, others noted, teenagers have engaged in knife fights for “eons.” The stupidity of such statements astounds. Knives are extremely dangerous and the third most common weapon used in U.S. homicides. Participants in knife fights aren’t guaranteed to get back up like actors in a choreographed rumble between the Sharks and Jets after the curtain goes down.

    Even more horrific than their ignorance, however, is the gross indifference to the value of black lives that these comments reflect. Is it really better to let a black woman with a knife murder an unarmed black woman than for a white policeman to stop the attack through the use of deadly force? Is a black-on-black homicide, no matter how depraved, better than a white-on-black homicide, no matter how justified? Such callous disregard for African-American humanity might help explain why the thousands of shootings in inner cities every year–mostly by and upon young men of color–get virtually no attention while a very small number of tragedies get endless media coverage if they advance a narrative of white oppression and racism. It is time to act as if black lives, like all lives, really matter by protecting black victims of crime, regardless of the race of either the perpetrators or the police officers.

    1. DB:
      “There are many disturbing aspects to this story. It is, of course, tragic that a young woman lost her life.”
      Where’s the tragedy in a murderer being stopped before she completed the act? The tragedy is the outright lying to divide and torment us by woke celebrities Iike Leadhead James and the Sleepy Joe Biden Band. Oh and btw princess here didn’t lose her life; she forfeited it.

      1. You obviously didn’t read past the second sentence since I make many of the same and additional points.

        1. DB:

          Read it all. I still question why you say it’s a “tragedy.” You didn’t back off that throw away, see-I’m-good-and-sensitive line. Personally, I find it an act of heroism by the cop and one less criminal to deal with.

    2. Media rushed to report misleading reports. DB, you just don’t understand the ratings game. The more views the higher the advertising dollars. The headline, “Cop does his job” just doesn’t bring in the big bucks for CNN, MSNBC and the rest of the fake news media. They make money in the process of saving the world. Great work if you can get it and your conscience allows.

      1. Sadly, yes, ratings seem to matter more than accuracy or fairness. Little wonder trust in media is so low.

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